Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
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Sunday, 28 January 2018

A right carry-on up the Khyber


Saturday saw an early rise and a trip down the I-90 to Palatine, IL. to join the chaps for another game of Sharp Practice. I arrived with Phil at about 1100 and we made our way over to Games Plus. It was my first trip to this store and it's well worth a visit, a huge stock of figures, games and accessories.

Mindful of my burgeoning lead mountain I picked up some Vallejo paints, Army Painter tufts and a set of Chessex dice in grey to go with the recently painted Confederates.



Grabbing a sandwich for lunch we headed back to Phils in time to meet Liam and Chris, then help Ed set up the table. Over the next half hour we were joined by Myles, Dan, Mark and Joe. The Imperial forces and about a half of the Pathans were Joe's and the remainder of the Pathans from Myles's collection. The houses are Ed's and Myles and the rest of us chipped in with terrain.

We were playing a rescue scenario, two British officers had escaped their Pathan captors and were hiding in two random houses, the Imperial forces had to sweep the table, searching the houses while the Pathans would make life difficult for them.


 Mark, Joe, Dan and Chris would play the British and Sikhs while Ed, Phil, Liam and myself controlled the Pathans. My forces were a couple of units of Ghazis and eventually some supporting horse when they deigned to arrive.

As with most big games it's difficult to keep track of everything so I'll just caption the photos and provide commentary where I can.

British infantry and lights advance towards the village.

Ghazis rush towards their foe - I'd used four command chits to do this, but, rolled low for both moves.

Highland infantry push towards the nearest building, no prisoner was found in this one.

Light infantry advance towards the village but accurate jezzail fire accounts for a half of their number and they scramble back for cover and to await support.

Three units of jezzailis occupy the town and pour deadly, accurate fire into the advancing British.

The Highland infantry push up the left hand flank in column, soon their deadly fire shall fall upon the Afghans. 

Under the watchful eye of Colonel Jenkins, Midshipman Ellis directs the fire of the Gatling gun. Until it suffered an ammunition problem this accounted for a lot of destruction amongst the Pathans 

The engagement continues, one prisoner has already been located by the Pathans and dispatched back to captivity, the last one is in the, as yet un-searched, building at the bottom left.

A section each of light infantry and Sikhs pour fire from the gully while another prepares to search a likely looking hovel.

Driven back by fire a group of Ghazis take cover while their leader exhorts them to rejoin the fray.

Ghazis and Highlanders clash in an alley-way, the Scotsmen are driven back in disarray.

From a position of safety Ayub Khan directs the Pathans.

Sihks and Light Infantry keep up a rapid fire.
In the end the Pathans retrieved one of the prisoners and the British grabbed the other but were unable to escort him safely from the battlefield and he was eventually recaptured.

Both sides finished on a Force Morale of 4 but as the Pathans had recaptured their prisoners the game was likely with them.

The breech-loading rifles supported by the Gatling gun were deadly, but plenty of cover meant that the Pathans were able to retreat to shelter and rally off shock and eventually overwhelm their foe-men